We knew that Joe Biden’s vice-presidential pick wasn’t going to be an NRA member or a Second Amendment supporter, but that doesn’t mean he had to pick someone who actually argued in 2008 that Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns didn’t violate the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. As District Attorney in San Francisco, Kamala Harris signed on to an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court in the Heller case, arguing that “for nearly 70 years courts have consistently sustained criminal firearms laws against Second Amendment challenges by holding that, inter alia, (i) the Second Amendment provides only a militia-related right to bear arms, (ii) the Second Amendment does not apply to legislation passed by state or local governments, and (iii) the restrictions bear a reasonable relationship to protecting public safety and thus do not violate a personal constitutional right.”
The brief, written by Adrian Fenty (at the time the Attorney General for Washington, D.C.) urged the Supreme Court to uphold the District’s ban on handgun ownership, as well as a firearms storage law requiring guns to be kept locked up or disassembled with ammunition stored separately. To do otherwise, claimed Fenty, Harris, and several other prosecutors, would create “a broad private right to possess any firearm that is a ‘lineal descendant’ of a founding era weapon and that is in ‘common use’ with a ‘military application’ today.”
Create a right. In other words, Kamala Harris told the Supreme Court that Americans didn’t have an individual right to possess a firearm that is in common use, turning a right of the people into a privilege to be exercised by a chosen few.
Harris lost the argument in 2008, but she’s been opposing the right to keep and bear arms ever since. As District Attorney, Harris demanded an end to gun shows at the Cow Palace convention center just outside of the San Francisco city limits, and as California’s Attorney General she not only defended the state’s gun control laws in court, but according to California Rifle & Pistol Association president Chuck Michel, she failed to properly oversee several databases that the state uses to determine whether or not someone is eligible to own a firearm.
.. not one but two separate Reports from the California State Auditor have found serious problems with the way the DOJ processes mental health records to determine a person’s firearm eligibility. Despite these multiple admonitions, Harris has failed to fix the problems. A 2013 Report from the California State Auditor found that under Harris, the DOJ “had not sufficiently reached out to the courts or mental health facilities to remind them to promptly report required information,” which if done would have allowed the DOJ to determine when dangerously mentally ill persons were in possession of firearms or attempting to purchase them.
Additionally, this report found that: [K]ey decisions, such as whether a person is prohibited, are left to staff whose work does not receive a supervisory review. Because of these issues, Justice cannot identify all armed prohibited persons in California as effectively as it should, and the information it uses to ensure public safety by confiscating firearms is incomplete.
As U.S. Senator, Kamala Harris has backed bans on so-called assault weapons, universal background check mandates, and more, but it was her short-lived presidential campaign that really allowed her to once again tout her anti-gun agenda. Harris proclaimed that if she was elected president, she would enact gun control with or without the support of Congress.
“Five million assault weapons are on the streets of America today. During the course of this debate, eight people will die from gun violence. We need action, and Congress has had years to act and failed because they do not have the courage. When I’m elected, I’ll give them 100 days to pull their act together, put a bill on my desk for signature and if they don’t, I will take executive action and put in place a comprehensive background check requirement and ban the importation of assault weapons into our country, because it is time to act.”
Expect the media to highlight the fact that Harris says she owns a gun, in order to portray her as some sort of “moderate” on the issue of the right to keep and bear arms. She’s not a moderate. She’s a hypocrite. Here’s what she told a CNN townhall audience last April.
“I am a gun owner, and I own a gun for probably the reason a lot of people do — for personal safety,” the California Democrat said Thursday. “I was a career prosecutor.”
Remember, as a career prosecutor Harris argued that you and I don’t have a right to own a handgun for personal safety, and that local governments should be able to ban you and I from legally possessing one. As a member of law enforcement, of course Harris would have been exempt from the very gun bans she wanted to keep in place in Washington, D.C., but she wanted local governments to be able to strip you of your ability to legally own a firearm for self-defense. Harris may own a gun, but that doesn’t mean she believes that you have a right to own one too.